AACR Logo Coffee is one beverage that manages its dual allegations of benefits and disadvantages pretty well. Shedding light on one such cause, experts from the American Association of Cancer Research have disclosed that coffee consumption may shield against basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a common skin cancer.

As part of the investigation, information was collected from the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Around 72,921 subjects were inspected between June 1984 and June 2008 in the former analysis while 39,976 participants were followed between June 1986 and June 2008 in the latter study.

“Mouse studies have shown that oral or topical caffeine promotes elimination of UV-damaged keratinocytes via apoptosis (programmed cell death) and markedly reduces subsequent SCC development. However, in our cohort analysis, we did not find any inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk for SCC,” specified Fengju Song, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Reportedly, there were 25,480 skin cancer cases cumulatively. Out of which 22,786 were BCC cases while 1,953 people suffered from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and 741 were diagnosed with melanoma.

The team found that women who consumed above 3 cups of coffee each day seemed to have 20% less chances of BCC while men who did the same had a 9% reduction in risk. However, those who consumed less than 1 cup every month did not appear to show significant results.

The analysts were particularly surprised by the inverse relation between coffee and cancer being found specifically in BCC. Those who consumed the highest quintile seemingly had the lowest risk factor. They found that there was an 18 percent drop in risk for women and a 13 percent reduction for men.Earlier studies have shown a similar link but epidemiologic studies have not conclusively shown the same outcomes.

Further trials to gauge the mechanism behind this link are underway. This analysis was presented at the 10th AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.